India & Patriotism : A Response…

This post is partly in reply to cb’s post but the rest is my own view of patriotism and country & other ramblings.

The reply may appear too long so I thought its better I deal it in a post.

@cb
Frankly to your post there is no way i can give a single straight answer because the post is too broad and tackles too many strawmen at the same time. Some are non-sequitirs and in that case, even trying to pinpoint and shoot any one of them is impossible.

Is there something called patriotism? Is that as simple a question as it appears Or is it another of those never-ending debates[flame-wara] because each party has chosen to fight in its own territories without a common single battle-ground?

My response however continues…

Is the question about patriotism? I think not.
Is it about India? Yes, so Im led to believe. India, a nation that actually is just a potpourri of different states each bounded by an invisible link{questionable}

For me India is a nation of people bounded by a common of struggle of independence binding all the folk into a nation. Its a nation that boasts of a peninsular state bounded by its abundant resources and a common ancestry of indus valley & harappa. Its a nation that was invaded by foreign invaders & despots. Its the richness in diversity and the amount of diversity it embodies that defines India.

Is it possible to define my country in a single word, I think not. The closest that I can come to is maybe geography, hospitality, tolerance & diversity. India is a union of states, each state a nation in itself. How far I would want to stretch my India is anyones guess but sticking to the geographical limits is a better way to say it so.

How perfectly can you define a common binding link between people? Its finally about the people isnt it, even though we are using the nation as an idiom? How come you call only some people your best friends and not all? How come you can relate only to some people and not all? Is not the common experiences that youve sharead and the common emotions that you’ve gone through form a common binding ground? Is not our country too, bound by that single common experience of a freedom struggle?

How perfectly can you define a state as a single entity? Isnt the southern tip of the states different from the norther tip. Maybe the language is same, but even then the dialects change dont they? How can you call a city a city? Only by geography dont you?

Patriotism is an emotion, an attitude. Either you have it or you dont. And of course, as per me patriotism is just a sense of belonging to the state and more importantly that of that state belonging to you. Its about the rights but mainly in the responsibilities.

Given a choice I would love to have a global village a Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. But for all the purposes of reality : of economy, of togetherness, Ill settle for that of geography, a common struggle and experience, memory as the basis for the definition of a country.

Belong to a nation and then to your state; be patriotic but that does not mean you have to live with its faults, to root for the loss of the enemies{debatable}. Patriotism is only a positive emotion to better the present conditions in your home. Above all it is humanity that binds us all, but tell me how does patriotism stop you from being so?

When you speak about England vs Pakistan winning the match… arent the wounds caused by Pakistan more recent/fresh in memory than that caused by that of England? And so is it wrong when people do root for England and not Pakistan? I dont condone either behaviors but my only point was to point to a flaw in that part of argument.

A nation is as much an entity, a work in progress as any organic entity can be; but the closest that you will come to define it is with its present condition. Even when I define myself, I define as someone I am, not as a definition of future or past but only that of the present, isnt it; even the person of past I was is not what I am; and the one in future is never the one Im now; but does that stop you from defining youself? No, isnt it?

In that case, arent the fruits enjoyed by us a result of the struggle of our ancestors. What did bind them all to work tirelessly on the struggle for freedom? Isnt the India we have now a figment of their vision? In that case, patriotism is just an emotion and motivation to be a part of that vision. Maybe patriotism is a tool, an intangible resource like love to make possible that vision?

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3 thoughts on “India & Patriotism : A Response…

  1. Again, you moved my heart.
    And yet, it is strange that I realized how much I love my own country and how much I crave to see India and be somehow a part of it. Will it ever come true, I don’t know. But the feeling of belonging to two placed at the same time becomes a bit… JekyllandHyde-like 🙂

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